The Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980

The Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980 (Act 10 of 1981)-An Act to provide for the regulation of fishing by fishing vessels in the sea along the coast line of the State.
Preamble --WHEREAS it is necessary to provide for the regulation of fishing by fishing vessels in the sea along the coast line of the state ;BE it enacted in the Thirty-first Year of the Republic of I0ndia as follows

CHAPTER.I Preliminary

1. Short title, extent and Commencement :--

(1) This Act may be called the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980.
(2) It extends to the whole of the State of Kerala
(3) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 24th day of November, 1980.

2. Definitions :--

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, --

(a) "adjudicating officer" means any officer of the Fisheries Department, not below the rank of an Assistant Director of Fisheries, authorised by the Government, by notification in the Gazette, to exercise the powers conferred on, and discharge the duties imposed upon, the adjudicating officer by this Act for such area as may be specified in the notification ;(b) 28 [***]28 Omitted by Act 28 of 1986

*Received the assent of the President on the 17th day of January, 1981 and published in the Kerala Gazette Extraordinary No.54 dated the 20th January, 1981.

For Statement of Objects and Reasons see Kerala Gazette Extraordinary No.1963 dated the 12th December, 1980.

(c) "authorised officer" means such officer as the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, authorise in respect of the matter to which references is made in the provision of this Act in which the Expression occurs;

18 [Provided that upon the constitution of a district Council under Section 3 of the Kerala District Administration Act, 1979 'authorised officer' for the purposes of Section 9, 10 and 11 shall mean such officer as authorised by the district council by notification in the Gazette ] ;

(d)" Fishing Vessel" means a ship or boat whether or not fitted with mechanical means of propulsion, which is engaged in sea fishing for profit and includes--

(i) a catamaran,

(ii) a country craft, and

(iii) a canoe,

engaged in sea fishing ;

(e) "port" means the space within such limits as may from time to time be defined by the Government, by notification in the Gazette, for the purposes of this Act ;

(f) "Prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act ;

(g) "registered fishing vessels" means--

(i) a fishing vessel registered under Section 11 of the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, 1972 (Central Act 13 of 1972) ; or

(ii) a fishing vessel registered under Section 9 ;

(h) "Specified area" means such area in the sea along the entire coast line of the State but not beyond territorial waters as may be specified by the Government, by notification in the Gazette ;

18Added by act of 1990

(i) "State" means the State of Kerala and includes the territorial waters along the entire coast line of that State.

3. Authorisation of Officers for the purposes of any provision of this Act -

The Government may , by notification in the Gazette, authorise--

(a) any officer of the Government, not being an officer below the rank of a Gazetted officeror;

(b) any officer of the Central Government, not being an officer below then rank of a Gazetted officer or a commissioned officer in the armed forces of the Union, with consent of that Government,

to exercise the powers conferred on, and discharge the duties imposed upon, an authorised officer under this Act in such area as may be specified in the notification.

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1 Added by the Act 18 of 1990.

b- Missing

CHAPTER II

Regulation of fishing

4. Power to regulate, restrict or prohibit certain matters within specified area. –

(1) The Government may, having regard to the matters referred to in sub-section (2), by order notified in the Gazette, regulate, restrict or prohibit -

(a) the fishing in any specified area by such class or classes of fishing vessels as may be prescribed ; or

(b) the number of fishing vessels which may be used for fishing in any specified area ; or

(c) the catching in any specified area of such species of fish and for such period as may be specified in the notification ; or

(d) the use of such fishing gear in any specified area as may be prescribed.

(2) In making an order under sub-section (1), the Government shall have regard to the following matters, namely :-

(a) the need to protect the interest of different sections of persons engaged in fishing particularly those engaged in fishing using traditional fishing craft such as catamaran , country craft or canoe;

(b) The need to conserve fish and to regulate fishing on a scientific basis

(c) The need to maintain law and order in the sea ;

(d) Any other matter that may be prescribed.

5. Prohibition of use of fishing vessels in contravention of any order made under Section 4.—

No owner or raster of a fishing vessels shall use or cause or allow to be used, such fishing vessel for fishing in any manner which contravenes an order made under Section 4 ;

Provided that nothing in such order shall be construed as a preventing the passage of any fishing vessels from or to, the shore, through any specified are to, or from, any area other than a specified area for the purpose of fishing in such other area or for any other purpose :

Provided further that the passing of such fishing vessel through any specified area shall not in any manner cause any change to any fishing nets or tackles belonging to any person who engages in fishing in the specified area by using any traditional fishing craft such as catamaran , craft or canoe.

6. Licensing of fishing vessels .—

(1) The owner of a fishing vessel may make an application to the authorised officer for the grant of a license for using such fishing vessel for fishing in any specified area.

(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in such form, contain such particulars, and be accompanied by such fees, as may be prescribed

(3)The authorised officer may after making such enquiry as he deems fit and having regard to the matters referred to in sub-section(4) , either grant or refuse to grant, to the owner of the fishing vessel, a license for using such fishing vessel for fishing in the specified area or specified areas mentioned in such license.

(4) In granting or refusing license under sub-section (3), the authorised office shall have regard to the following, namely :-

(a) whether the fishing vessel us a registered fishing vessel ;

(b) the condition of the fishing vessel including the accessories and fishing gear with which it is fitted ;

(c) any order that may be made under section 4 ;

(d) any other matter that may be prescribed.

(5) A licence granted under this section shall be in such form and subject to such conditions, including conditions as to payment of such fees and furnishing such security for the due performance of the conditions, as may be prescribed :

Provided that different fees, and different amounts by way of security, may be prescribed in respect of licenses for different classes of fishing vessels.

(6) A license granted under this section shall be valid for the period specified therein or for such extended period as the authorised officer may think fit to allow in any case.

7. Prohibition of fishing using fishing vessels which are not licensed

No person shall, after the commencement of this Act, carry on fishing in any specified area using a fishing vessel which is not licensed under section 6 :

Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to any fishing vessel, which was being used for fishing immediately before the commencement of this Act, for such period as may be specified by the Government by notification in the Gazette.

8. Cancellation, suspension and amendment of license .—

(1) If the authorised officer is satisfied , either on a references made to him in this behalf or otherwise that.

(a) a license granted under section 6 has been obtained by mis-representation as to an essential fact ; or

(b) The holder of a license has, without reasonable cause, failed to comply with the conditions subject to which the license has been granted or has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or any order or rule made thereunder, then, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the holder of the license may be liable under this Act, the authorised officer may, after giving the holder of the license reasonable opportunity of showing cause, cancel or suspend the license or forfeit the whole or any part of the security, if any, furnished for the due performance of the conditions subject to which the license- has been granted.

(2) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, the authorised officer may also vary or amend a license granted under Section 6.

9. Registration of Vessels .—

(1) The owner of every vessel used or intended to be used for purposes of fishing and kept in the State, not being a fishing vessel registered under Section 11 of the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, 1972 (Central Act 13 of 1972), shall register such vessel under this Act.

(2) Every application for registration of such vessel shall be made by the owner thereof to the authorised officer in such form, and shall be accompanied by such fees, as may be prescribed --

(a) before the expiration of the one month from the date on which he first became the owner of such vessel ; or

(b) before the expiration of three months from the commencement of this Act, whichever is later :

Provided that the authorised officer may, for sufficient reason to be recorded in writing, extend the time-limit for registration by such period as he thinks fit.

(3) The authorised officer, shall issue to the owner of the vessel registered by him a certificate of registration in the prescribed form and shall enter in a register to be kept by him, in such form as may be, prescribed, the particulars of such certificate.

(4) Registration once made shall continue to be in force until it is cancelled by the authorised officer.

(5) Every vessel registered under this section shall carry a registration mark, assigned to it by the authorised officer, displayed in the prescribed manner.

(6) No vessel, other than a registered fishing vessel, shall be entitled to a license under section 6.

10. Information to be given to authorised officer about movement of fishing vessels .—

Where a registered fishing vessel moves from the area of one port to the area of another port, the owner of such fishing vessel shall give information to that effect in the prescribed manner, to the authorised officer by whom such fishing vessel was registered and also to the Port Officer having jurisdiction over the area where to such fishing vessel has been moved.

11. Returns to be made by owners of registered fishing vessels .—

(1) Every owner of a registered fishing vessel shall furnish to the authorised officer at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner such returns as may be prescribed.

(2) The authorised officer may inspect any registered fishing vessel at any time to verify the accuracy of any return made under this section.

12. Finality of orders under section 6,8 and 9.—

Every decision of the authorised officer under Section 6, section 8 or section 9, granting or refusing to grant license for a fishing vessel or canceling, suspending varying or amending such license or registering, or canceling the registration of, a vessel shall, subject to any right of appeal under section 13, be final

13. Appeals against orders refusing grant of license, etc .—

(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the authorised officer refusing to grant license for a fishing vessel or canceling, suspending, varying or amending such license or refusing to register a vessel or canceling the registration of such vessel may within thirty days from the date on which the order is communicated to him, prefer an appeal to such authority as may be prescribed (hereafter in this section referred to as the appellate authority) :

Provided that the appellate authority may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filling the appeal in time.

(2) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section (1) the appellate authority shall, after giving the appellant a reasonable opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it deems fit as expeditiously as possible

(3) Every order passed by the appellate authority under this section shall be final.

 

CHAPTER III

Penalties

14. Disposal of seized fish .—

(1) The authorised officer shall keep the fishing vessel impounded under section 14, in such placer and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) In the absence of suitable facilities for the storage of the fish seized, the authorised officer may, if he is of the opinion that the disposal of such fish is necessary, dispose of such fish and deposit the proceeds thereof in the prescribed manner in the office of the adjudicating officer.

16Adjudication .—

(1) Where any authorised officer referred to the section 14 has reason to believe that any fishing vessel is being, or has been used in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or any order or rule made thereunder or any of the conditions of the licence, he shall make a report thereof to the adjudicating officer.

(2) The adjudicating officer shall hold an enquiry into the matters mentions in the report, in the prescribed manner, after giving all the parties concerned a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

17. Penalty .—

(1) The adjudicating officer shall, after the enquiry under section 16, decide whether any person has used, or caused or allowed to be used, any fishing vessel in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or of any order or rule made thereunder or any of the conditions or the license and any such person, on being found guilty by the adjudicating officer, shall be liable to such penalty not exceeding-

(a) five thousand rupees, if the value of the fish involved is one thousand rupees or less ;

(b) five time the value of the fish, if the value of the fish involved is more than one thousand rupees ; or

(c) five thousand rupees, in any other case, being a case not involving any fish,

As may be adjudged by the adjudicating officer:

8 [Provided that where the adjudicating officer after the enquiry under section 16 decides that any person had used, or caused or allowed to be used any fishing vessel in contravention of the provisions of section 5 or section 7, such person shall, on being found guilty by the adjudicating officer, be liable to such penalty which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, as may be adjudged by the adjudicating officer.]

(2) In addition to any that may be imposed under sub-section (1), the adjudicating officer may direct that --

(a) the registration certificate of the fishing vessel which has been used, or caused or allowed to be used, in the manner referred to in Sub-section (1) or the license, any condition of which has been contravened, shall be

(i) Cancelled of revoked, as the case may be ; or

(ii) Suspended for such period as the adjudicating officer deems fit ; or

(b) the fishing vessel or fish that may have been impounded or seized, as the case may be, under section 14 shall be forfeited to the Government:

8a [Provided that where the penalty under the proviso to sub-section (1) is imposed on a person for the second or subsequent time, the adjudicating officer shall direct that the fishing vessel or fish that may have been impounded or seized, as the case may be under section 14 shall be forfeited to the Government.]

8Substituted by Act 8 of 1986.

8aSubstituted by Act 8 of 1986.

18 8a. [Appeal .—

(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the adjudicating officer may, within thirty days from the date on which the order is made, prefer an appeal to the District Collector having jurisdiction over the area for which the adjudicating officer exercises powers :

Provided that District Collector may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days, but not after the expiry of sixty days, from the date aforesaid, if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filling the appeal in time

(2) No appeal under this section shall be entertained by the District Collector unless the applicant has, at the time of filling the appeal, deposited the amount of penalty payable under the order appealed against :

Provided that, on an application made by the appellant in this behalf, the District Collector may, if he is of the opinion that the deposit to be made under this sub-section will cause undue hardship to the appellant, by order in writing, dispense with such deposit either unconditionally or subjects to such conditions as he may deem fit to impose.

(3) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section (1), the District Collector may, after holding such enquiry as he deems fit and after giving the parties concerned a reasonable opportunity of being heard , confirm, modify or set aside the order appealed against ; and--

(a) if the sum deposited by way of penalty under sub-section (2) exceeds the penalty directed to be paid by the District Collector the excess amount, or

(b) if the District Collector sets aside the order imposing penalty the whole of the sum deposited by way of penalty, shall be refunded to the appellant.

8a Substituted by Act 28 of 1986

(4)Where the District Collect entertains appeal after dispensing with the deposit under the proviso to sub-section (2) and if the order appealed against is not set aside or as the case may be, if the order appealed against is modified involving the depositing of penalty the appellant shall deposit such amount by way of penalty as may be ordered by the District Collector.]

19. Revision by 28[District Collector] .—

The 28a [District Collector] may call for and examine the records of any order passed by an adjudicating other under section 17 and against which no appeal has been preferred under section 18 for the purpose of satisfying 28b [himself] as to the legality or propriety of such order or as to the regularity of the procedure and pass such order with respect thereto as 28c [he] may think fit :

Provided that no such order shall be made except after giving the person affected a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter.

20. Powers of adjudicating officer and 28d [District Collector] in relation to holding enquiry under this Act .—

(1) The adjudicating officer and the 28e [District Collector] shall, while holding an enquiry have all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act 5 of 1908), while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely :-

(a) Summonsing and enforcing the attendance of witness ;

(b) Requiring the discovery and production of any document ;

(c) Requisitioning any public record or copy there of from any court or officer ;

(d) Receiving evidence of affidavits ; and

(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.

28Substituted by Act of 28 1986.

28aSubstituted by Act 28 of 1986.

28bSubstituted by Act 28 of 1986.

28cSubstituted by Act 28 of 1986.

28dSubstituted by Act 28 of 1986.

28eSubstituted by Act 28 of 1986.

(2) The adjudicating officer or the 28 [District Collector] shall, while exercising any power under this Act, be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of section 345 and 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Central Act 2 of 1974).

21. Offences by Companies .—

(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the

Company for the conduct of the business of the company as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly :

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Not withstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence under this Act has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other Officer, such Director, Manager, Secretary or other Officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation .--(1) For the purposes of this section, --

(a) "company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals ; and

(b) "director" , in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm

28 Substituted by Act 28 of 1986.

CHAPTER IV

Miscellaneous

22. Exemptions .—

(1) Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to survey vessels belonging to the Central Government or any State Government or any public undertaking.

(2) If the Government are of the opinion that, having regard to the purposes of this Act, it would not be in the public interest to apply all or any of the provisions of this Act to any class or classes of fishing vessels used for fishing in any specified area or specified areas, they may, by notification in the Gazette, exempt, subject to such conditions as they may think fit to impose, such class or classes of fishing vessels used for fishing in such specified area or specified area, as they may specify in the notification, from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Act.

23. Protection of action taken in good faith .—

(1) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Government or any officer or authority for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any order or rule made thereunder.

(2) No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Government or any officer or authority for any damage caused or likely to be caused by anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any order or rule made thereunder.

24. Power to make rules .—

(1) The Government may, by notification in the Gazette, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely :--

(a) the matters to which regard shall be had in making an order under sub-section (1) of section 4 ;

(b) the form of the application for license under sub-section (1) of section 6, the particulars which it shall contain and the fees which shall accompany is ;

(c) the matters to which regard shall be had in granting or refusing a license under clause (d) of sub-section (4) of section 6, the fees payable for the license and the security for the due performance of the conditions of the license;

(d) The procedure to be followed in granting or refusing a license under section 6 or canceling, suspending, varying or amending such license or in registering a vessel under section 9 or canceling such registration ;

(e) The form of the application for registration of a vessel under section 9, the particulars which such application shall contain and the fees which shall accompany the application ; the form of the certificate of registration and the form of the register referred to in sub-section (3) of that section, and the manner in which the registration mark referred to in sub-section (5) of that section shall be displayed ;

(f) The manner in which the information referred to in section 10 shall be given ;

(g) The time and manner in which the returns referred to in sub-section (1) of section 11 shall be furnished ;

(h) The authority to whom appeals shall be preferred under sub-section (1) of section 13 ;

(i) The place and the manner in which an impounded fishing vessel shall be kept under sub-section (1) of section 15 and the manner in the which the proceeds of the disposal of the seized fish shall be deposited with the adjudicating officer under sub-section (2) of that section ;

(j) The procedure of the enquiry by the adjudicating officer under sub-section (2) of section 16 ;

28 (k) the procedure to be followed by the District Collector under section 13.]

(l) the fees payable for the supply of copies of documents or orders or for any other purpose or matter involving the rendering of any service by any officer or authority under this Act ;

(m) any other matter which is to be, or may be, provided for by rules under this Act.

(3) Every rule made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before the Legislative Assembly, while it is in session, for a total period of fourteen days which may be comprised in one session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following, the Legislative Assembly makes any modification in the rule or decides that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rules.

25. Repeal and Saving .—

(1) The Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Ordinance, 1980 (12 of 1980) is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under this Act.

28Substituted by Act 28 of 1986.